An Artist’s Canvas – Todd Nakanishi’s Bagged Scion xB

When Scion introduced the first generation of xBs, they did something that would later shape how many automotive companies viewed the aftermarket industry and enthusiasts. Toyota created the Scion brand to provide automotive artists with a blank slate. Like a block of clay, the Scion xB was a simple boxy design that just begged to be altered by fabricators and tuners alike. Hitting dealerships with aftermarket parts already prepared and ready, they developed a community that encouraged expression through modification.

It comes as no surprise that, as an Art Student, Todd Nakanishi was drawn to the potential for creativity that stirred in the Scions on the lot. The room and gas mileage made it the perfect car for a highschool student at the time, but over the years it has become so much more. Todd drove his stock scion through the streets of southern Orange County without any intention of jumping into a complex build. It wasn’t until he made a trip up to Los Angeles in 2010, that the urge would manifest itself. After seeing a modified xB parked out on the city streets, his eyes were opened to the potential that sat parked in his driveway.


Before he knew it, he was reeling in inspiration from the world around him. From the aesthetics of architecture and interior design to track bike styling and euro cars, he gathered accents and styles from the other realms of interest that held his attention. Todd viewed his Scion as a blank canvas waiting to come to life as an outlet for self expression.


There’s no denying that this bagged Scion xB has a presence wherever it goes. Often a staple car at the large Euro and JDM shows on the west coast, it stands out with its bright color and the level of work that has been put into it. It’s possible to build an impressive and beautiful car with wheels, a drop, and some elbow grease, but it’s always nice to see the cars that have gone above and beyond; the cars that have been thoroughly modified and altered inside and out.


The change that first catches the eye is the obvious divergence from the color palette offered in dealerships. After the body panels were shaved and a Topline Japan lip was molded to Japanese Zenki bumpers, the car went in to his friend for a full respray. The color is one that came from a Dealership’s paint selection books, but it wasn’t one found at Scion. Todd drew inspiration from the Porsches of the early 90s and decided to paint his car in a Porsche Mint Green, his favorite color.

The classic porsche style influence made its way inside the car as well. A Porsche badged Nardi Woodgrain steering wheel pays tribute to the cars of that era while custom hardwood floor panels and dash complete the vintage atmosphere inside. To match the wood accents and pop against the teal paint, Todd opted to have his seats reupholstered in beautiful, rich brown leather and diamond stitching.


The smoothed bodywork and leather interior are reminiscent of Euro styling, but Todd has done a great job meshing Euro and JDM flavors into his final result. The flared-out kit matched with the W-Blood Wing give the car the iconic JDM Styling often found among these boxy Scions. The teal fenders air out over a shiny set of SSR Vienna Spokes. Behind the 5 spoke modular wheels sits a full set of Wilwood brakes with matching teal logos to tie it all together.

Any piece of art is a collective of thoughts, emotions, and inspirations that stem from the artist’s mind. Todd’s xB is no different; he took a rather basic, boxy car and began molding it to fit his image and personal tastes. The work and parts that have gone in Todd’s Scion are all impressive, but what I love most about the car is that you can see his hand in everything that’s been done. Whether it’s the unique Corolla wagon rack and fender mirrors or the loud color combination, you know that it all embodies the taste and style of the owner and that moment of expression is invaluable in our eyes. Todd has truly put his heart into his car and it shows. For that we applaud him.


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